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Sending Mass Emails in Outlook

Outlook can be used to send mass emails to staff and students. Here are some guidelines to observe when creating large distribution lists in Outlook.

  1. BCIT is bound by Policy 6700 BCIT Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP), the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) and the BC Personal Information Protection Act (PIP). You must make every effort to comply with these provisions. Contact the Manager for Records, FOIPOP, and Copyright should you require additional information.
  2. Important: Use the Bcc: field instead of the To field in the email. This hides the list of email addresses from the recipients, which is both required by FOIPOP and helps to protect your recipients from security concerns like virus propagation.
  3. You must create your distribution lists as a Contact Group in your Personal Address Book. It is strongly encouraged that you use an Outlook Contact Group rather than simply a list of email addresses.
  4. You may create as many groups as required.
  5. You can direct replies to a different email address.
    1. When creating the email, click the Options tab.
    2. Select Direct Replies To.
    3. In the Delivery Options section ensure that Have replies sent to is enabled.
    4. Pick the email address of the person you want the replies to go to.
    5. Click Close when done.
      • Note that this setting will not prevent Delivery Failures from being bounced back to your account. These failures occur at the server level. Nor does it prevent the recipient from forwarding the email back to the true sender (you) who will still appear as the original author of the email.
  6. To limit the nuisance of Delivery Failures and improve the mailing’s efficiency, you are urged to keep your group list up-to-date. Verify email addresses often, and delete outdated ones regularly.
  7. You may want to use a shared email account to send the email in order to avoid a person’s name from being associated with the email.
    • If you do not have access to a shared email account, ITS can create one for you. The requirement is that you need it to send regular communications. This also requires manager approval.
    • To request a shared email account, through the Email for employees section of the IT Service Catalogue.
      • Login with your usual BCIT credentials
      • Enter the requested account name, email address, account owners, approver, and click Submit
      • IT Services will contact you with instructions when the account is approved and created.
  8. BCIT already sends many mass emails for various departments and functions. To limit the impact to the system, we strongly recommend that mass emails be sent after hours (after 5:00 p.m. or before 8:00 a.m.).
  9. For very large mailings (over 2,000 users), it is recommended the mailings be split over more than one day. Please note that 2,000 email addresses is the maximum number you can send an email to, once you hit this limit your account will be prevented form sending outbound mail for 24 hours. This is to help prevent the spread of malicious email should an account be compromised.
  10. We recommend that you use some “opt-out” language in your email to allow recipients tell you if they want to be removed from your list.

Important: limitations and restrictions

Recipient rate limit

2,000 recipients per day. To discourage the delivery of unsolicited bulk messages, Exchange Online has recipient limits that prevent users and applications from sending large volumes of email. These limits are applied per-user to all outbound and internal messages.

Message rate limit

30 messages per minute. Message rate limits determine how many messages a user can send within a specified period of time. These limits help prevent over-consumption of system resources and guard against inappropriate use. If a user submits messages at a faster rate, Exchange Online will deliver the messages but will queue them at the server and throttle the rate of delivery. Additional limits relating to messages, mailboxes, and recipients help ensure the health and responsiveness of the Exchange Online service for all customers.

Recipient limit

500 recipients.This is the maximum number of recipients allowed in the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields for a single email message.

Group size limits

Maximum 2000 email addresses per group.